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Trump Tells States to Open Houses of Worship; Dr. Birx: Go Out for Memorial Day, But "Stay 6 Feet Apart"; Justice Dept Warns LA Stay- At-Home Orders May Be "Unlawful"; Experts: U.S. Lacks Medical Supplies For Future Waves; Brazil Reports Record 20,803 New Cases Over Last 24 Hours; WH Adviser: June Could Mark A Turning Point For Unemployment; NBA Legend Patrick Ewing Announces He Has Coronavirus; Sports Fans Flock To Michael Jordan Series Amid Pause On Games. Aired on 8-9p ET

Aired May 22, 2020 - 20:00   ET




ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: Welcome back to a special edition of OUTFRONT.

Tonight, Trump dividing, leading into a cultural war tonight during a pandemic, by declaring all houses of worship essential, and warning if the governors don't allow them to open right now, he'll override them.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I call upon governors to allow our churches and places of worship to open right now. If there's any question, they're going to have to call me, but they're not going to be successful in that call.


BURNETT: Wow. So, open, and call him if you're not going to open, because he's going to tell you to open.

Does the president even have power to force governors to reopen churches?


REPORTER: The president said he's going to override the governors. Under what authority would he do that? And to your point, he said several weeks ago, this is all up to governors.

KAYLEIGH MCENANY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Well, I think you're posing a hypothetical and I think we can all hope that we see governors --

REPORTER: No, he said he would override the governors.

MCENANY: You're posing a hypothetical though. You're assuming that governors are going to keep churches shut down, and keep mosques shut down, and keep synagogue shut down. (END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany did not answer the simple question, but just to make a point here, there is a simple answer. The president doesn't have the authority to override the governors.

Instead, McEnany went on to suggest that Democratic governors and the media do not care about faith.


MCENANY: The president will strongly encourage every governor to allow their churches to reopen, and, boy, it's interesting to be in room that desperately wants to seem to see these churches and houses of worship stay close.


REPORTER: The president said that he has --

REPORTER: Kayleigh, I object to that. I go to church. I'm dying to go back to church. The question we're asking you and would liked to have asked president and Dr. Birx, is it safe? And if it's not, is the president trying to encourage that or does the president agree with Dr. Birx that people should wait?

MCENANY: Jeff, it is safe to reopen the churches if you do so in accordance with the guidelines.


BURNETT: Look, the bottom line is this, the president shouldn't be the one to tell people to go to houses of worship where, of course, big groups congregate. That decision should be made by the governors in each state based upon the facts and science in their states.

OUTFRONT tonight, Jeff Mason. He's the White House correspondent for "Reuters", and you just saw him in that exchange with Kayleigh McEnany.

So, Jeff, let me just ask you. What went through your mind when the press secretary said what she said, that she's just, you know, amazed to be in room where people want to keep churches closed. Tone in your voice was pretty clear, you're dying to go back to church.

JEFF MASON, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, REUTERS: I happen to be somebody who goes to church and felt very much like she was giving a broad-brush statement about everyone in that room. And the truth is, we were in that room and are every day to ask questions and to get to the truth, to get to the facts behind these decisions.

And the president didn't address that. Kayleigh didn't address it under good questions from colleague, and then she made that sort of broad-brush statement that we all don't want churches, and synagogues and mosques to be open. And it's just simply not true. And a lot of people in that room are people who go to those places of worship and would like to go back, I'm one of them.

BURNETT: So, why do you think she said that? Why would she say that reporters want to see the churches and houses of worship to stay closed?

MASON: I don't know. I mean, I think it's part of effort by White House and President Trump's campaign to make the media a scapegoat or encourage his supporters to object to our reporting with statements like that. So, I think it's consistent with that kind of effort.

The president often works particularly well when he's got boogie man or somebody else to blame. That seems to be part of the same playbook that Kayleigh was using.

BURNETT: So, Jeff, please stay with me. I want to add in David Gregory to our conversation, our political analyst who's also the author of "How's Your Faith?: An Unlikely Spiritual Journey," and Father Edward Beck, our religion commentator.


So, David, you've written about faith, you covered the Bush White House for many years. What is the Trump White House trying to do here?

DAVID GREGORY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, first, let me say, I thought Jeff who's been a colleague for years handled that elegantly and appropriately to push back. I mean, I just think that what Kayleigh said was beneath here, frankly, as press secretary and who -- as someone I know who happens to be a person of deep faith herself, I thought that was cheap shot that obscured the more important point, which is, should houses of worship be considered essential?

I think the president's right. I mean, I think they are essential. And I think it's important debate to have. You can be on either side of that.

But right now, there are so many people have such a deep spiritual longing to be able to pray and to pray in community. And they're being deprived that. It's really, really hard under these circumstances. I think we all need to appreciate that. That's a separate debate from the question of whether you can do so safely.

And that's the job of reporters in the White House briefing room to push back on that, say how do you do it safely, let's think about it. In a lot of faith communities, core members of those communities tend to be older, who would be more vulnerable. So, how would you do it safely, that's an important consideration and, of course, I think the president very often undermines an important point that he was making today about value of faith in people's lives, particularly during this pandemic by suggesting he would override the governors which, of course, he can't do as constitutional matter.

BURNETT: So, Father Beck, how do you feel about this? I mean, you know, the White House saying they'll just tell people those houses are open, no matter what the governors say. As person of faith, you have -- obviously your flock, how do you feel about this? FATHER EDWARD BECK, CNN RELIGION COMMENTATOR: First of all, my feeling

is we have been doing essential services. I mean, I've done funerals at grave sites, even anointed the sick, ministered to people over the phone, we said virtual masses. I heard a confession in a supermarket parking lot. So, it's not like religious services have not been being tended to.

Now, of course, what the president is referring to is mass religious services like mass gatherings. And what we're told by health officials right now is that it's not safe to do it in that way. So why not let the governors and religious authorities get a plan together, which they have been doing, by the way. And we're set to open incrementally and safely.

But to simply say everyone open at the same time now. That's not about religious freedom. That's about courting illness and death, that's about ignorance. And I just don't know why people who don't have expertise would speak about things that really is not their field to speak about.


GREGORY: Can I interject, I appreciate -- I really appreciate where Father Beck is coming from, but at the same time, we do designate certain services whether supermarket, lots of liquor stores are open, designate things essential and try to figure out how to safely do that.

So, you know, I'm Jewish, among particularly Orthodox Jews to convene minimum of ten men, you know, those restrictions have been loosened to New York so they can do that safely.

So, I think the point is that it's fair to have this debate whether it should be considered essential and how you do it. What I don't like and what I agree with Father Beck about, we don't want to court illness and don't like it becoming a political litmus test. And that's what it can devolve into, that basically you're either with the liberal press, that's all secular, or you're with people of faith.

And that's not the -- that's not the choice. That's totally inappropriate. That's not what's right.

We can say that absolutely this is an essential gathering, essential service if you will to be able to pray in community, to be able to shake hands with people and offer the peace and so forth and still focus on the safety questions.

BURNETT: Well, and, Jeff, and the president said this specifically about the -- you know, what is right and what is wrong to the point David is making. Let me just play what he said, Jeff.


TRUMP: The governors need to do the right thing and allow these very important, essential places of faith to open right now, for this weekend. If they don't do it, I will override the governors. (END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: Obviously, Jeff, he can't override the governors. We just need to make that point loud and clear again. He doesn't have constitutional right to do so.


But it also appears that he is trying to make this into a -- you know, him and people of faith versus the godless, godless media in that case. But he misses what Father Beck was just saying, which is that these important places of faith have been there and are there for people right now. And they are opening carefully and slowly and not courting and courting death. But that very important point, Jeff.

MASON: Yeah. And I think it's also very clear that these places of worship also want their parishioners to be safe. So when the president makes it a question of right or wrong, I think that people who are making these decisions, both at local and state levels, also at church and synagogue and mosque levels, you know, they're not weighing right or wrong but safety and being able to provide services to the people who are members of their congregations, houses of worship.

I got email from very senior leader of a Christian church today after that exchange said church and other religious leaders have been working with CDC on these guidelines and felt the rushed announcement today ended up undermining the work that they had done, because they were working together to find right way to reopen and right time.

BURNETT: And, Father Beck, what are the steps here? I know you made that point, you've been working with authorities and government. What are the steps here? How does opening look when people can come in and congregate?

BECK: Well, they're beginning with allowing only ten at a time. Almost not a full congregation obviously if you have ten people. They're taking all the necessary precautions. They're emptying the holy water fonts, coming to communion one by one.

I know of one parish that's actually having plexiglass in front of the priest and he's just going to give communion under the plexiglass. They're asking everybody to receive in the hands for the most part, so they're not receiving on the tongue. If you happen to touch somebody's hand, you then have to sanitize your hands before you give communion to the next person.

Having ushers escort people to their seats and out of the church. Making sure people come in one by one. So, it's very specific but they need to do it incrementally because not everybody is in same place right now. Not every diocese is in the same position of being ready, not every state in the same position of being ready.

So, how do you give a federal dictate for something that's a local issue?

BURNETT: All right -- GREGORY: There's also consumer confidence point, which is, what are

individuals going to do? The president can say what he wants. Governors can say what they want, but individuals have to make a decision whether they're comfortable going into a large gathering space and it really is highly individualistic. I've been with friends to a Catholic mass in Washington, D.C., that's sparsely populated. I've also been to Joel Olsteen's church in Houston where thousands come for a Sunday service. That's simply not tenable right now.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you all very much. Appreciate it.

And next, the administration with message this Memorial Day weekend.


DR. DEBORAH BIRX, WHITE HOUSE CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE COORDINATOR: You can be outside. You can play golf. You can play tennis with marked balls. You can go to the beaches.


BURNETT: With marked balls. So, what is safe?

Plus, experts warn the U.S. has months to rebuild national stockpile or risk another shortage, with deadly consequences. President Obama's former top science advisor is my guest. He sounded that alarm.

And the president's economic adviser says the dire unemployment situation in United States will take a turn in June. Hmm, he was the one saying it would be worse than the Great Depression. Is this wishful thinking or not?



BURNETT: New tonight. Growing fears of a spike in cases over the Memorial Day weekend. The task force coordinator, Dr. Deborah Birx, is telling Americans it's OK to leave your home.


BIRX: You can go out. You can be outside. You can play golf. You can play tennis with marked balls. You can go to the beaches if you stay six feet apart.


BURNETT: Six feet apart. Is it that simple to stay safe outside?

Sara Sidner is OUTFRONT.


SARA SIDNER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Sun, fun and coronavirus, how safe are we as summer pastimes beckon? Even in the great outdoors, epidemiologists warn nothing is without



SIDNER: This month, a report published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences said that when it comes to COVID-19 speech droplets by asymptomatic carriers are increasingly considered to be the likely mode of disease transmission.

RIMOIN: It does appear to be a big driver of spread of disease, and we are still learning every day.

SIDNER: Anne Rimoin is a virus hunter, a renowned UCLA epidemiologist who has spent decades researching in Congo trying to suss out the next virus and how it's transmitted.

So far, this is what experts help stop coronavirus transmission.

RIMOIN: Everybody should be staying as far apart as they can and wearing masks which will reduce the spread of droplets.

SIDNER: But is six feet enough? A new computer model suggests it may not be.

An engineering professor study of a computer model published in the journal "Physics of Fluids" shows a light breeze could carry some droplets as far as 18 feet.

RIMOIN: Any data is important to consider. Literally, gathering data in real-time to understand what we're doing today and tomorrow.

SIDNER: It still isn't known how infectious those droplets could be if the virus is present.

PETER CHIN-HONG, UCSF INFECTIOUS DISEASE SPECIALIST: You know, absolute risks of getting it, like wind and, you know, outdoors, is very, very small.

SIDNER: The computer model has not been scientifically tested in real life scenarios. What has been lab-tested, how far droplets can disperse indoors. Think of summer vacation, airports, shopping malls, restaurants.

This is the National Institutes of Health experiment. Normal breathing without a mask under highly sensitive laser light shows no droplets light up.


But when you speak, droplets light up like a Christmas tree.

ANNOUNCER: Ironically, one of the phrases that produces a large number of droplets is --


SIDNER: And a cough indoors, scientists at Florida Atlantic University showed without a mask, droplets can spread 12 feet. With a simple mask, the droplets still spread but far less.

Unfortunately, for summer sports fans, enthusiastic cheering can also spew droplets farther. The virus may move from one fan to another.

CHIN-HONG: It loves the noses and mouths (ph). It's like a five-star hotel for the virus.

SIDNER: The cheering and high-fives may defeat the effort to control the virus which explains the idea for playing in empty stadiums.

CHIN-HONG: A stadium is like an adult preschool. Sure, there are a lot of secretions and slobbering depending on what you buy in concession stands. People lose inhibitions, that's part of the joy of going to the stadium.

SIDNER: But not all is lost. Dip in pool is still cool. According to CDC, there is no evidence the virus can spread through pool water. But self-distancing is still key.

RIMOIN: We're going to be coexisting with this virus for a long time. Maybe forever.


SIDNER: Now, Erin, we're outside of the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, this is known as The Loop. There is walking and running and cycling. Right now, it's pretty quiet, people are just getting off work.

But I was here when it started to get packed with people. They've closed off roads to try to make self-distancing easier for people. You'll notice I'm wearing a mask, that is the rule here in this city, if you can't self-distance, if you cannot stay more than six feet away. And right now, I could easily take it off but people keep walking by me.

Experts are telling people they're worried that this Memorial Day when people flock to places like this, that there may be more spread of the virus. To keep yourself and family safe, key to every epidemiologist that we've spoken to, and including the CDC, self-distancing is the key. Stay as far away from other people as you can, have one of these with you -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Sara, thank you very much.

And I want to go OUTFRONT now to Dr. Leana Wen, an emergency room physician, former Baltimore City health commissioner. And Dr. Amanda Castel, she's an epidemiologist at George Washington University's Milken Institute School of Public Health.

And thanks to both of you.

So, Dr. Wen, you heard a doctor saying, you know, everything we do has a risk attached to it. But making it very clear -- I mean, when you look at those -- those models, look, it's clear that distance makes a difference. It is clear that masking makes a difference.

What can people do? Sure, it's this weekend is Memorial Day weekend, but we're coming into summer. What do people do to reduce their risk?

DR. LEANA WEN, FORMER BALTIMORE CITY HEALTH COMMISSIONER: And this is key, Erin. Everything that we do has some level of risk but we can reduce our own risk. We can take matters into our own hands. Focus on three variables, proximity, activity and time.

So, proximity is that social distancing, keeping the six foot distance. If you're going to be seeing friends, go outdoors, maybe in a backyard, put the chairs at least six feet apart. Don't hug or kiss, don't share utensils or plates. That's changing your activities.

And then time matters, too. If you're going to somewhere like a crowded beach walk by, don't linger. The time of exposure also really matters. And I think this is the time that we all need to protect ourselves and everybody else around us too.

BURNETT: Dr. Castel, you say there are few simple questions to ask themselves before they decide to go out. What are they?

DR. AMANDA CASTEL, EPIDEMIOLOGIST, GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY: Yes, I think, first, you need to think about your community, how much virus is spreading in your community, also assess your personal risk. Are you one of those people who's more vulnerable to COVID-19? Then maybe you should think twice about going out.

Second, I say think if this is something you need to do or something that you want to do. You need to take your child to get their vaccinations. You may need to seek emergency medical care. But some of the other things may just be nice to do.

And then as Dr. Wen said, if you do decide to go, then that's where you really need to focus on how to protect yourself, so have you mask, have your water bottle, you're your hand sanitizer so you're prepared outside. Social distance, try to keep groups small in size. And last but not least, if you're not feeling well, stay home.

BURNETT: And, Dr. Wen, you heard Dr. Birx say can go to beaches if they stay six feet apart. Is that realistic? And I guess this whole the question, right, six feet seems so arbitrary when you look at those, you know, those -- that simulation at we saw that showed, you know, projectile even when you talk can go so much farther than that.

WEN: Yes, I mean, I think six feet is a good rule of thumb. It's not like 5 1/2 feet you'll get the virus and 7 feet you're not.


But I think six feet is good rule of thumb to keep in mind.

At the beach, if you go and you see that there are a lot of people there already, may be good to turn back, and come back later when it's off peak. And if you still really want to go, it's safer to take a walk than linger there. And then certainly, if you're going to be there with friends, continue to keep that six foot distance. If you have little kids, as I do, a toddler, know that little kids really can't abide by social distancing very well, and so, keep a careful eye on them too.

BURNETT: And so, Dr. Castel, a new analysis out of Harvard concludes that warm weather alone will not control the virus. Obviously, we anticipate could help, right? We know it doesn't like humidity. We know that in terms of the half-life.

The research did find that higher temperatures, say, in Phoenix could decrease rate of infections by 40 percent, maybe by 25 percent in warmer months in New York City. So, you know, that's something. Every something matters.

What do you see when it comes to the role of the weather?

CASTEL: So we know some viruses do seem to decline in their spread in warmer weather. With this virus we're not seeing that as much. If you look at tropical climates, they're still having large outbreaks of COVID-19. And so, while the weather may slow the spread, it's not going to stop the spread. And again, I think that means that we have to encourage people to do all they can to prevent the spread of the virus.

BURNETT: OK. All right. Thank you both very much. And we're going to have a lot more on that issue. You point out tropical climates, temperatures doesn't meat at all, just look at Brazil.

And OUTFRONT next, we have breaking news. The Justice Department warning officials in Los Angeles that their stay-at-home orders may be arbitrary and unlawful.

And, Brazil, it is now second in world in coronavirus cases and obviously it is warm and it is humid and it is sunny and it is tropical. And we are there in some of the hardest hit neighborhoods where the virus is spreading fast.



BURNETT: Breaking News, the Justice Department warning officials in Los Angeles that their stay-at-home orders are quote, "arbitrary and heavy handed". It comes just hours after Task Force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx expressed concern about the case numbers in L.A.

Kyung Lah is outfront in L.A. tonight. So Kyung, what's the response from L.A. officials? Obviously, this news and the Justice Department just crossing.

KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We have just reached out to the L.A. mayor as well as the county and we have yet to hear back, but Mayor Garcetti -- Mayor Eric Garcetti is holding his briefing today. We are expecting that at hoping that he is going to be responding to this. And what this is a letter from the Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division, a strongly worded letter saying that the public remarks by the mayor of Los Angeles and the county public health director, saying that these restrictions might continue is that they are, quote, "arbitrary and unlawful", and that there is no pandemic exception to the U.S. Constitution.

So as the Department of Justice is going head to head with the mayor of the city, as well as the public health director of the county of Los Angeles. Now what are they concerned about? They are concerned and you mentioned it briefly, Dr. Birx talking about the numbers in Los Angeles. But there are rising numbers across this country. If you look at it from a state by state number there are some trends I want to point out. I want to pull up this map and take a look at it, and you'll see it's a multicolored map. I'm going to start with the green. There are nine states in green and those numbers are down in the states. And the numbers I'm talking about are the weekly average of new cases, the 24 states and yellow that you see there, their numbers are holding steady the 17 states and red and orange, those numbers are actually going up.

And one of the state's hardest hit is the state of Arkansas, where week to week their numbers have gone up 65%.

So Erin, these numbers are certainly showing that in some states, as we're getting into this Memorial Day weekend, as beaches are opening, as bars are opening in Texas, they are certainly concerning, at least in those states where those numbers are going up, Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Kyung, thank you very much. You know, we're going to keep an eye on what happens here with that response from L.A.

And, you know, the rising cases that Kyung was just walking you through and explaining comes as experts do warn of a second wave. Is the United States ready? I mean, there's a lot of ways to answer that question. I mean, you know, a lot of what you're talking about treatments or worse or a hospital supplies, some experts are warning, we only have a few months to rebuild the National Stockpile of medical supplies or wish another critical shortage out front now

Outfront now, John Holdren, he's a former top science advisor to President Obama, he and eight other scientists are writing a letter warning about this very scenario.

So John, you know, we keep hearing with the President saying, look, we -- they need all these ventilators and we ordered them now and then, you know, when we have more than we'll ever use, and we're giving the weight of our countries I'm sure we're stockpiling a lot of those. But you do know a lot about the National Stockpile for what would be needed in a potential second surge as dire as the first. How bad is the situation right now?

JOHN HOLDREN, PROFESSOR, HARVARD UNIVERSITY: But we are far short of what we need in this Strategic National Stockpile. If there were to be a resurgence, a second wave of the coronavirus in the fall. Our group has been looking at that medium term and longer term problem. Other groups have been focused on what needs to be done immediately. And I would say that in terms of even immediate availability.


The fact is that we are short of what we need. We're short in terms of personal protective equipment. We're short in terms of reagents and swabs and test kits. We are short of ventilators. If again, we see a surge in the number of cases. And --

BURNETT: Wow, so you're saying we are actually short of ventilators if we there's another surge?

HOLDREN: Yes. That is certainly what we believe. And the fact is that although there has been a Strategic National Stockpile of equipment related to responding to a pandemic since 2002, it has been sadly neglected, through now three administrations that have not done enough to replenish supplies in that stockpile. It was built up gradually, up until the time of the H1N1 epidemic in 2009. It was severely depleted during that swine flu epidemic. And it has never been replenished to a substantial extent, since --

BURNETT: Let me ask you about that because you've shared your warning with senior Trump officials. I know you're trying to sound the alarm here. They of course blame, you know, President Obama, the administration you work for. They point exactly to that the swine flu, H1N1 in 2009. They say, look, President Obama depleted it never refilled it. Is that a fair thing to do to point the finger?

HOLDREN: Well, the first thing I would say is that finger pointing is not the most productive exercise. At this moment, we ought to be looking at what we now need to do. The second point I would make is, even if it was all the Obama administration's fault, and I don't think it was, it was partly the fault of the Congress it was partly the enact adequacy of budgets in the relevant agencies who couldn't figure out where they would get the money to obey what was already in the law about building up and maintaining that stockpile.

But the fact is the Trump regime has now been in office for three years, and they haven't fixed that either. So rather than blaming the last three administrations, for failing to get this right, I think what we ought to be doing is looking forward to what do we need to do now, so that if there is a surge in the fall, we will not suffer the kinds of shortages that have plagued us in the current epidemic?

BURNETT: Well, I I hope those words are heated and I think what you had to say there, certainly about ventilators is not what people would have expected to hear. I appreciate your time, John.

HOLDREN: Thank you very much. I appreciate being on.

BURNETT: All right.

And I want to turn now the breaking news out of Brazil, which is just reporting a record 20,803 cases over the last 24 hours. That now puts Brazil a solidly tropical country, second only to the United States in total cases. That's also now rising in Brazil to more than 21,000. Despite the record number many fear that the worst is yet to come for the country.

We've been covering this story. And now Nick Paton Walsh is outfront.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): Brazil has always had the haves and the have nots, but in Sao Paolo coronavirus, has the poor of its favelas going it more than ever alone.

We follow emergency workers through the dense streets that fuel the fire they're fighting. This is the place people don't want to live in. Yet poverty means it's packed all the same.

(on-camera): As these densely packed alleyways you can tell the real risk of a high infection rate.

(voice-over): In these tiny rooms or sickness means kids must lock on that those who would care for them. Renata says she tests only when a patient has three symptoms, and even those tests are paid for by private donations. Mostly the test is done, she tells me when the person is already in an advanced stage of the disease. Cases can be tough. One obese woman needed eight people to carry her to our ambulance and a man without Alzheimer's well, we have to ask the family if we could physically remove him from his home. It's hard.

Up above is Maria, 53, who caught the virus despite being masked up in the market, she says, so she's distancing from our panel. Even yesterday, the owner of the pharmacy died she tells me many are losing their lives due to someone's carelessness.

Renata is part of a wide operation medicine, but masks here to teaching people how to make them and giving them machines to do it. And also food 10,000 meals a day sent out in small numbers into the community because lockdown means they can't put food on their own tables.


This is a community in some ways already isolated economically, saving itself. They have a place where the sick are sent to isolate in the form of school. We can't film patients inside. Everything here is done at a distance and says that the worst is yet to come.

(on-camera): That's pretty likely these bears will sadly soon before a school given over to this purpose by the government, but an operation here funded by private donations.

(voice-over): The bigger test here how this amazing spirit of community holds up when the peak makes these streets seem even deadlier.


PATON WALSH: Now you said the Brazil now in second place fine with Russia whose numbers tomorrow may put them back there'll be possibly exchanging that unenviable position over the days ahead.

But still, Brazil has less cases than New York have confirmed for one simple reason you heard there the tests are hard to come by, so often you need three symptoms even to get one. So it is quite likely that Brazilian figure is significantly not the entire picture in this country. The numbers of dead tier two worryingly high a thousand a day now we're seeing quite commonly putting at 21,000 total at this point that are known by the government here to.

And sadly while it's warm now and he said this is a tropical country, they are going in the opposite direction. They're heading towards autumn and winter. And as we all know, those particular seasons have accentuated the disease something and other parts of the world here, combined with a fear that the government's advice play this down is accentuating the problem. People are filling day by day. Erin.

BURNETT: All right, Nick, thank you very much live from Sao Paulo tonight.

And next, schools overseas requiring students to wear face masks even moving classes into churches. Is this what we're going to see in the United States when we hope when schools reopened in the fall?

Plus, breaking news from our NBA star Patrick Ewing just announcing he has tested positive for coronavirus. What we're learning about his situation tonight.



BURNETT: Tonight White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett says he expects the unemployment numbers to turn around in just a few weeks.


KEVIN HASSET, WHITE HOUSE ECONOMIC ADVISER: We'll see a very bad number for May and then I think that in June it'll start to head in the right direction.


BURNETT: Outfront now Tilman Fertitta, he's the owner and CEO of Landry's which opened operates 600 restaurants also known as the Golden Nugget hotel and casinos as well as the NBA, Houston Rockets.

It's good to have you with the Tilman. So I guess when you hear that that things are going to start turning around obviously Kevin Hassett so into it said this is going to get be worse than the Great Depression. You have now I know, you know, you had to furlough about 40,000 people. And you've now started to reopen not even quite half it started to reopen. I mean, you know, having to furlough that many people is a pretty incredible thing. I mean, where are we? Do you think things are really going to be turning around in June?

TILMAN FERTITTA, OWNER, HOUSTON ROCKETS: Well, we opened up about 260 restaurants now and opened up two casinos this week in Mississippi and Louisiana. And so a chunk of those have come back and but you got to remember in your leisure markets and your business and convention markets are still running down over 60% where your more suburban locations are down 40%. And that's where the big push is going to come even next year is where's your convention market? And where's your business traveler market? The casinos have opened up pretty good this week, though, I guess people who want to gamble go gamble.

BURNETT: I mean, so on that front, you own the Golden Nugget hotels and casinos and you point out a couple of locations that have reopened obviously, the Las Vegas casino still closed. The Nevada governor saying tonight that he has a target date of June 4th, to reopen, are you going to be fully ready to go and when? I mean, what's it going to look like?

FERTITTA: They're giving us all the guidelines now. And they're going to do whatever it takes to protect the employee and in play -- and take care of the customer and that's what we want. We want everybody to be safe and we sure didn't want to open any sooner until they felt like that. The medical directors felt like this was the right time. And I think it's going to be fine. I think we're going to do the social distancing, right. And everything is going to be good. I don't think anybody's opening unless they're ready. That, you know, the governor open Texas on May the first and in here we open 170 restaurants in Texas in one weekend and it's going well, we haven't heard about any employees or customers yet have any problem.

BURNETT: So you met with the President this week to discuss help for restaurants specifically and, you know, obviously, you know, we have we've all seen the incredible pain across this country for the restaurant business, which by and large is obviously, you know, small individually owned, obviously, you're talking about yours, you've got hundreds of them. And you do think and you did tell him that you think that there is need for a program for bigger businesses like yours. So explain to them and why, why you think that help is necessary?

FERTITTA: You want to take care of your employees and you want to be able to pay your expenses and the biggest thing is that nobody did anything wrong here. So it's a shame that a business is hurt but even more so it's a shame than in an employee feels any pain whatsoever. And that's why I do like what the government's done so far and kicked in the extra 600 for every employee, because you do want them taken care of you. This is, this is just a tragic event for everybody and you want everybody to survive it, but you got to keep pushing it and you always need more.

BURNETT: So you own the Houston Rockets. Obviously we don't know when the NBA will return, NASCAR is resumed races this weekend. There's a big charity golf event with Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady. When do you think sports that involve physical contact are actually going to return Tilman?

FERTITTA: You know, it's starting to look like it's going to be in July for everybody which is truly exciting. Even if fans aren't there, I think that you could have taken all these men in the world and a lot of women and they were fine staying at home if they had their sports. [20:50:07]

But we didn't have any and we've all it's amazing how we've found things to do and it's been great for movie watching but I think we're all ready for some sports now here.

BURNETT: All right, well Tilman, I appreciate your time. Thank you very much.

FERTITTA: Thank you.

BURNETT: And next basketball legend Patrick Ewing tonight says he has tested positive for coronavirus and some words of warning from him tonight. Bob Costas is my guest.



BURNETT: Breaking news, Georgetown University's men's basketball coach and former New York Knicks star Patrick Ewing announcing he has coronavirus saying in a statement. This virus is serious and should not be taken lightly. I'll be fine and we will all get through this. Georgetown says he is in a hospital.

OUTFRONT now 28 time Emmy Award winner and host and announcer for MLB network Bob Costas. Bob, thanks for being with me. So Georgetown says you in went public to show the virus can affect anyone. Obviously he is in the hospital. He's got a pretty serious case here. You know, what's your reaction when you hear this?

BOB COSTAS, AWARD-WINNING SPORTCASTER: Well, I don't know anything more than the news reports. It's relatively fresh information. If we don't know by now that anybody can get this and the Even though in our mind's eye, Patrick Ewing is a young athlete, he's now a middle aged coach. So he falls, at least partially on the side of those who are most of them are graphically at risk. So we shouldn't be surprised by this. But I'm thrilled that Patrick is receiving good care. And it's more than likely to recover and return to his duty.

BURNETT: So we saw on ESPN's "The Last Dance", you know, and everyone's been talking about this so much, Bob that Ewing was one of Michael Jordan's top rivals in the NBA. And obviously, you had a front row seat for that rivalry and every other. You know, ESPN says nearly 13 million people watched each episode of the series. What do you think this series meant? I mean, I just, you know, just every it just seemed to capture the hearts of people for sports fans in the middle of this pandemic.

COSTAS: I think it would have been compelling and interesting and highly rated under any circumstances, but I mean, as a kid, with no other original sports content to speak of, than it was all the more welcome from sports fans. But Michael Jordan and the story of the Bulls in the '90s and all the circumstances that came together. It was a golden era in the NBA, not just Jordan and the Bulls (INAUDIBLE), but it wasn't in cable TV, as it really is. Now, it was on NBC with promos on friends and cheers, and VR and whatever else, David Letterman and the "Today Show" all of that stuff ratcheted up.

And then the fact that Jordan was almost unique in the way that he transcended sports, people who wouldn't know one of the ones that six game is the game where they preach their father. That's still by far the most anyway the NBA.

BURNETT: So Bobby, there's talk about July, he's heard Tilman Fertitta saying you know, he thinks that sports could be back in July, NBA NHL, possibly in July. Major League Baseball obviously had been looking to start that shortened season in July, and then MLB owners, you know, there's been this whole issue about salaries and now that they're getting paid the revenue split. There was a guy in Tampa who was you know, saying he wanted more money.

The former Yankees Orioles manager Buck Showalter said last week, I quote him. I know one thing fans don't want to hear players talking about I'm not going to play for that type of pay cut. I'd be telling my guys you need to shut up.

What do you make of this despite going on with the players right now? And is this a real risk for them with a sport that Americans, you know, have such an emotional connection to?

COSTA: Well, Buck is right about that, no matter what the disputes are that have to be worked out. Those kinds of public proclamations don't do individuals any good and don't do the game and the business of baseball any good. They hope that they can come back on July 4, and there would be some symbolism in that as national path -- as national pastime returns on the Fourth of July, and they put out a very thorough, very carefully considered meticulous 67 day (INAUDIBLE) about how they're going to go about this.

On the one hand as a baseball fan who hopes that baseball can come back later half season, a world series that might be part. On the other hand, if you need this 67 page document that takes into account every particular it's more than the pitcher and catcher handle the ball of the foot and play with throw that ball out of play, no sunflower seed spinning, no high five, sit far apart. Maybe some people are sitting in the stands and not in the dugout, they encourage you not to take a shower at the ballpark after the game, go home or back to the hotel, to take a shower. If all these things are necessary and you say to yourself, this is going to be a tightrope walk. And they get from one end to the other. We now in October or November, also, but it's a tough path.

BURNETT: All right. Well, Bob, thank you so much. It's great to see you and thanks for your time.

COSTAS: All right.

BURNETT: All right, Bob Costas, the one and only. And thanks so much to him.

And thanks so much to all of you for joining us. Please have a safe Memorial Day weekend and it's time now for "CUOMO PRIMETIME" with of course, the only Chris Cuomo. [21:00:02]

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: The only one on this show. Erin thank you very much the best to you and the family for the weekend.

I am Chris Cuomo and welcome to "Primetime."